Your Cloud Future Is In China
February 08, 2011
Can we expect that cloud hosting will be focused on China within 10 years? The infrastructure, the money, the central planning and their enviable access to resources make this inevitable. And why not? In the great marketing machine that surrounds cloud computing, the claim is that your data can be anywhere and that compute power should not be close to you, nor should you even care. And as China moves from agrarian subsistence to manufacturing and then onto a tertiary economy, it will be positioned to move into a services economy. Indeed, the country is doing so already in a range of areas. It seems clear that with access to capital, town planning and labor it is not so hard to conceive that China will be better positioned to be an early mover in the cloud marketplace.
It's already happening. IBM has announced its China Cloud with data center floor space ranging from 330,000 square meters to 620,000 and employing between 60,000 and 80,000 people.
Every data center has practical and physical requirements to build and operate. Today, the infrastructures that we use are often inadequate, and next generation data centers need strong capital investment, good local planning process for building permissions, redundant power supplies (and even power stations) and access to quality human resources.
The Chinese government already knows that it has a power shortage today, and it's already taking steps to massively invest in alternative power generation with nuclear energy alone exceeding a planned 70 gigawatts.
China is also building out a new electricity grid that will be more efficient, more reliable and more capable than those of America or Europe. If only because it is using newer technology, China will have a significant edge in power in the next decade while Europe and America will still be debating what power policy to have.